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Auto industry hits an all-time record

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 9:58:34 AM

Analysts thought it might happen, but now it's official - the U.S. auto industry sold more cars and light trucks in 2015 than any time in history. The Los Angeles Times reported that new vehicle sales reached 17.47 million last year, claiming the record throne from the 17.35 million figure set in 2000. A robust economy, rising consumer confidence, plummeting gas prices and low interest rates were all responsible for the stellar numbers.

Michelle Krebs of Autotrader told the Times that, regarding American drivers - many of whom have utilized auto financing in their purchases - "They feel a bit wealthier and more comfortable making a long-term commitment to a vehicle purchase. This is the sixth year of year-over-year increases in sales, and that's unprecedented."

According to The Detroit News, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor reported their best sales in a decade, while General Motors announced its strongest year since 2007. Foreign auto makers like Nissan, Honda, Kia, BMW and Hyundai all enjoyed all-time records in 2015.

Perhaps what's most impressive, however, is the expectation that all these records will be broken yet again in 2016.